This article was previously published on Aug 26, 2020, but revised on Aug 12, 2022

How to Prepare to Germinate Cannabis SeedsA marijuana plant is cultivated in one of two methods, from growing seeds or using clones. Growing your marijuana plants from cannabis seeds has many benefits and it is worthwhile to learn how to germinate cannabis seeds.  Many growers view growing from seeds as being a purer method than using clones and let’s face it, harvesting the lovely ladies we nurtured from birth is rewarding. Germinating, also called “popping”, is the first step to enjoying your own weed garden.

Benefits of Germinating Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds allow growers to cultivate cannabis plants with a fresh batch of genetics, with DNA code that has not been exposed to disease and a poor growing environment. Growing with seeds typically yields more than a clone, as seeds produce a tap root which gives the plant anchor for better support and a better nutrient and water uptake system. Beginners might have an easier time learning how to germinate cannabis seeds as clones can be tricky, a bit delicate and could have inherited disease or pests.

Cannabis seeds are also much easier to find, a good quality cannabis seed bank will offer a wide selection of quality cannabis seeds. Whereas, finding quality cuttings from a vegetating mother plant can be difficult, and not within the limits of the law depending on where you get it from and where you live. Seeds can also be stored for a while in the refrigerator until you are ready to germinate, clones must be used immediately or they’ll die.

Growing from seeds might add a little time to your full harvest cycle but can definitely be worth the effort. Ultimately, the choice is subjective but we feel that growing from quality cannabis seeds is highly rewarding.

How to Prepare to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

How to Germinate Cannabis SeedsBefore you want to start the germination process, follow these tips for greater success:

● Keep seeds cool, damp and dark – make sure you’ve been storing your seeds in a sealed bag, in a damp, dark place like the refrigerator (approximately 55 degrees F) in a bed of rice. Take them out when you are ready to plant them, this is similar to the temperature change cannabis plants are used to when going from winter to spring and helps to promote successful germination. Seeds do not germinate so well in light as too much light will harden parts of the seed by decomposing carbonic acid gas, expelling oxygen and fixing the carbon which can prevent vegetation.

● Label your containers – no matter what method you choose, get some labels or tape and markers to write the strain and dates on your containers.

● Moisture – seeds require moisture to expand and break through the shell.

● Temperature – keep the temperature around 72°F (20-22°C) which mimics springtime. *never place your germinating seeds in the windowsill.

● Humidity – the best humidity for seeds to germinate is around 70 to 90%

● Handle with care – treat your germinating seeds like the new babies they are to avoid accidentally breaking delicate structures.

Just follow these tips and remember that germinating seeds requires minimal interference to start their life’s journey. Within a matter of anywhere from 3 to 10 days, you’ll see your sprouts and be ready to plant into your growing medium.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds: Most Popular Methods

Germinating cannabis seeds can be started indoors or outdoors, although starting indoors can give your seeds a better chance of survival. If germinating outdoors, small plants are exposed to pests, mold, wind, and extreme temperature changes. Newly germinated seedlings are quite vulnerable and must be kept safe, which is easier to do indoors.

The three most popular methods for germinating cannabis seeds are the:

1. Soak In Water & Hydrogen Peroxide Method (Mosca Preferred Method)
2. Paper Towel Method
3. Plant In Soil Method

1) Soak in Water & Hydrogen Peroxide Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds (Mosca Preferred Method)

Some people find success by soaking their seeds in water with 20% Hydrogen Peroxide for about 12-18 hours then putting directly into soil. You can do this to combine the soak and plant in soil methods, or check for sprouting within 48 hours and then plant.

1) Use distilled water – Use a small, 8 oz. cup of either distilled or reverse osmosis water with 20% Hydrogen Peroxide at room temperature.
2) Drop your seeds into the cup – label it and check them every 8 hours.
3) Swirl around the water – this encourages the seeds to sink to the bottom.

You should begin to see sprouts, what looks like tails, coming out of the seed casing within about 12 to 18 hours. Once you see the beginning of the tap root emerging from the seed, carefully remove from the water and plant into your growing medium with the root facing downward. Water the soil, coco or grow medium with distilled water for the first few weeks.

2) Paper Towel Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Using the paper towel method is simple, requires common products you have at home and has a high rate of germination. For this method you’ll need:

● Paper towels
● Distilled water
● Two clean plates, a sealed container, or a zip lock bag

1) Wet a paper towel – use distilled water or reverse osmosis water at room temperature.
2) Fold it twice – and place your seeds on the wet towel.
3) Keep seeds dark, warm and humid – place the paper towel either in between two covered plates, in a covered container or in a Ziplock bag.
4) Spray with water every few hours. Do not forget to keep your seeds moist! Your seeds will not sprout if left unattended on a dry napkin.

When you see your seeds open up and show the first sign of a tap root, get ready to plant into your growing medium (peat, coco, soil). Plant your seed with the root facing downward.

3) Plant in Soil Method to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Some people have success planting their cannabis seeds directly into quality, potting soil. The key here is to use only fresh, never before used potting soil. If you try to reuse soil that had been used to grow other things the soil is already devoid of precious nutrients.

1) Fill your containers with quality soil – fill your pots or seedling trays with fresh potting soil and tamp down the top.

2) Plant twice as deep as the seed is wide – you don’t want to dig a deep hole to place the seed in. Simply indent with your finger about 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch.

3) Water thoroughly for the next few days – give your containers a good soaking without disrupting the seed. Use a gentle soak method and water until you see water coming out the bottom of the container to make sure they’re good and soaked. You don’t want your containers continually, excessively soggy but you can’t let them dry out either. *use only distilled or purified water for the first few weeks until you can transition to a nutrient solution.

4)Cover loosely with saran wrap to help keep moisture levels up. Remove once the seedlings emerge from the soil.

You should soon see green sprouts popping through the soil. Remember that you do not need to, and should not, provide light to your germinating seeds. Seeds require darkness, the right temperature and humidity to germinate. Once your seed sprouts, you can begin to add lighting although young cannabis plants are not yet able to process high-intensity light. It’s best to start with a lower wattage light like LED or CFL lighting, something like a blue (cold) spectrum light is good for this young age to promote vegetative growth.

Mosca Seeds offers a wide selection of quality cannabis seeds to get you started on growing your own cannabis garden. Whichever growing method or medium you choose, starting with quality cannabis seeds bred with experienced and trusted breeding genetics will yield you the best result. Check out our seed bank to choose the quality cannabis seeds of your choice and follow these tips to successfully germinate your cannabis seeds.

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